Dozens gathered outside the office of B.C. Premier John Horgan during a climate rally Friday in defence of old-growth forests.
An Instagram post Wednesday by Our Earth Our Future Victoria showed an invite to what the organization calls “Victoria’s first climate strike in over a year.”
The protest aims to bring awareness to ongoing protests against old-growth logging at Fairy Creek Watershed. They are calling for change to B.C.’s forestry industry and a stop to logging of old-growth forests.
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“We all wouldn’t be here if this government had done what they said,” one protester told CHEK News. “They were elected on a promise to enact all the 14 recommendations of the old-growth strategic review.”
Lake Cowichan Mayor Bob Day said he’s concerned with the way tensions are building between protesters and pro-logging opponents.
“I’m watching things escalate, it’s beginning to concern me as well,” he said.
On Saturday, logging supporters are planning two blockades to stop protesters — one at Port Renfrew and another at Lake Cowichan.
“They are going to be greeted at the other end with the logging side of the protests,” Day said. “And that’s just creating an interface where things could go wrong. And like I said, that frightens me about this whole situation.”
Protests and arrests by RCMP have been taking place during the last month as blockades have prevented logging in the Fairy Creek Watershed area.
RCMP officers have been enforcing a BC Supreme Court injunction granted to Teal Jones, the company logging the old-growth forest area in Fairy Creek.
In the most recent update from police, they say there have been over 133 arrests of protesters made so far. Nine of them have been arrested previously.
The protests and arrests have been occurring despite calls from local First Nations hereditary and elected chiefs for protesters to stand down and let Teal Jones log a 200-hectare area in the 1,200-hectare Fairy Creek Watershed area.
Many of the protesters feel Premier Horgan has not followed through with promises to protect old-growth forests and change regulations around forestry.